Observing how we choose to rest can be a great source of insight about our approach towards the “inapparent” parts of our lives. Our “working” or “doing” times are yang, since they are rhythmic, observable, radiant. On the other hand, our resting times have a yin character since they are more reserved to us.
As a result of the culture that we are living in, we may have the tendency to be more attentive to the observable parts of our lives from outside, and not find ourselves diligent in the areas that are reserved just for us.
Restoring balance in our lives may require many different practices. One of them can be bringing our attention to our resting times and spaces and directing diligence to those areas. Then maybe we can discover other areas for which we find ourselves reluctant to pour energy into. They may be functioning of our organs, our thought processes, or emotions.
To elaborate on resting, we can start with a simple question. Is resting a complete state of giving up for you? In the resting times do you find yourself consuming tv series, movies, or food that are not actually serving your highest good? Flowing in the yang energy makes us so tired that in the resting times we want a space we do not have to think anything. We do not want anything to be exhausted. Paradoxically, resting in consumption without thinking anything leave us more tired.
Sri Aurobindo states that the true manifestation of resting is a transcendental state. He teaches that we rest where the desires dissolve, we rest in the silence, we rest when we climb the stairs up to meet our true nature, we rest when we feel as spacious as the universe. These may sound very hard to encounter but in fact we inherently know these moments of great rest. We know we find rest when we tap into gratitude in our hearts looking at a great scene in nature, in our children’s smile, the moments we spent with our loved ones where we can be ourselves and flourish as we truly are.
Remembering these inspirational moments, we can choose to open more space for them intentionally. If we know in which state we rest, we can choose to be more attentive to create those spaces and times for ourselves.
The sensory organ of wood element is eyes. May the following sequence bring insight about how we spend our resting times. Acknowledging and accepting ourselves as we are, choosing the variations of the poses which serve our heart and body, trusting our body’s guidance on the mat, honoring the inner guide, and learning to rest in our being can be a nice and fresh start!
- Yoga mat
Easy Pose (5 min)
Start in a sitting posture of your choice. Make sure you sit on a cushion to be able to sit upright. Bring your attention to your natural breath. Stay with your breath to invite your attention towards yourself, how you are feeling at the moment.
Supine Butterfly (5 min)
Place a small cushion on top of the mat, then place your bolster on the cushion. Roll a blanket to make it into a small cushion for your head. Sit in front of the bolster and lie down comfortably with bent knees, feet on the floor. Then, slowly open the knees to the sides to bring the soles of the feet together. Support the knees with blocks or cushions if necessary.
Slowly close the knees with the help of the hands. Come to rest in Fetal Pose for 1 minute.
Deer Fold (4 min/side)
Slowly come up to sit cross-legged. Bring your body weight to your right side and bring the top of the left foot on the floor by the left hip. Inhale, place the hands on the floor in front of the hips. Exhale, fold forward, bring the elbows on the floor or on your bolster, for a nice stretch in your right hip.
Inhale, slowly come up, bring the left leg forward. Exhale, place the hands back, and extend both legs forward to rest. Then continue with the other side. Make sure you repeat the rest after the left side.
Easy Pose with a Heart Opener and Lateral Bend
Slowly come to sit in Easy Pose. Make sure to sit on a cushion. Place the fingertips back. With every inhalation, press the fingertips on the floor, open your chest, bring the shoulder blades together, and look up, with every exhalation, relax. Continue for a couple of rounds.
Then, place your right fingertips on the right side of the hips, inhale lift the left arm up. Exhale, bend to right. Enjoy a nice stretch in your left side body. Slowly lower the left fingertips, inhale lift the right arm up. Exhale, bend to left. You can repeat this cycle a couple of times or stay for 1 minute on each side.
Dragonfly (5 min)
Slowly come to sit on your mat without cushion. Open the legs to the sides. You can support the hips with a blanket if necessary for sitting up with a long spine. Keep your feet slightly active. Bring your awareness into your inner legs. If you already feel a nice stretch, you can stay here or start to fold forward and bring the hands, or elbows on the floor or on any supporting equipment of your choice.
Slowly come up, hug yourself in Angel Pose to rest.
Figure 4 Twist (3 min/side)
When you feel ready, lie down on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor. Bring your right ankle on your left thigh just above the left knee. Flex your right foot. Open your arms to the sides at shoulder height. Inhale slowly, exhale, lift the left leg up, right leg closer to your chest. Inhale deeply, as you exhale, drop the legs to the left side, sole of the right foot, and outer edge of the left leg rest on the mat. You bring your gaze towards your right hand for a deeper twist.
Slowly bring your head back to the center and your legs back into your chest. Release the pose and continue with the other side. After you finish both sides, extend the legs forward and rest in Savasana for 1 minute.
Constructive Rest (2 min)
Slowly bend the knees, feet on the floor. Feet may be hip width apart or you can open the feet mat width apart and drop the knees towards each other. Place the hands on your chest and enjoy a nice rest while listening to your heartbeats.
Savasana (5 min)
When you feel ready, extend the legs forward on your mat for final Savasana.
Connect with Canay